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Introduction to New Testament History and Literature - Video

By Dale B. Martin

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(RLST 152) This course provides a historical study of the origins of Christianity by analyzing the literature of the earliest Christian movements in historical context, concentrating on the New Testament. Although theological themes will occupy much of our attention, the course does not attempt a theological appropriation of the New Testament as scripture. Rather, the importance of the New Testament and other early Christian documents as ancient literature and as sources for historical study will be emphasized. A central organizing theme of the course will focus on the differences within early Christianity (-ies). This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

Customer Reviews


I don't get the problem. I'm as Christian (Catholic) as anybody else but this is a history course not one in theology. He makes that clear from the start and repeats that theme during the course. As a history class I enjoyed it. That's all it is. As a course in theology, it falls flat. But that's not what it is

Great course! Not for everyone.

This course isn't for everyone. I am a Christian, but I like this course because it challenged and informed me. Personally, I don't think you can accurately interpret the New Testament unless you understand the culture and time that it was written. The NT is not a book that dropped out of the sky into the lap of saint-like Apostles; Paul struggled with sin just like the rest of us. The critical-historical study of the NT taken on in this course made me feel the reality of Christianity. I could put myself into the shoes of guys who lived a long time ago and imagine how I would react if I woke up and found out the guy I thought was the Jewish messiah turned out to be the God of Israel. This course, though critical, brings the shock of history alive (at least for me). Would I recommend it to a Christian who likes to think of the bible in terms of inerrancy? No way. On the other hand, if you are a Christian and you want to feel the reality of history -- and you can handle the idea that the bible is messy -- go for it. After watching the series I still think Jesus is God, I still think Jesus was a man, I still think Jesus physically resurrected from the dead, I still love the NT documents as sources of truth, I still love the church, I still have a trinitarian view, I still believe in salvation, I still believe in life after death, and I could go on. But this course helped me understand the issues that the Apostles were dealing with -- ok, the disciples of the Apostles in some cases -- and gave me insight into what they were trying to teach and what they were trying to teach against. Finally, despite the fact the professor is critical, I like him because he is honest and analytical. He's trying to teach, not indoctrinate.

Introduction to New Testament History & Literature

Professor Martin is an unusually outstanding presenter of an information-filled series of lectures. I am on my third viewing and still hang on the entirety of the series. I might add that I am 70 and particularly appreciate Prof. Martin's enthusiastic and informed offerings for kindling my spirit from an ember to a blaze. Thank you Yale and Dr. Martin. Those checking out this availability, hit subscribe or download now. You will be gratified too.